Thursday Kicks: Stephens, Kamara & More

i-585dd5a070aeee2ab8f8c162569ab5e7-michaelstephensdebut.jpgUCLA product Michael Stephens, seen here fending off Real Salt Lake’s Tony Beltran (another former Bruin) Saturday, had a solid MLS debut (AP Photo).

*Reporter Phil Collin spoke to Galaxy rookie Michael Stephens (and also learned more about the severity of the injury midfielder Sean Franklin sustained in the game).

*If you haven’t voted in Tuesday’s poll regarding strikers Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez and their World Cup chances go here.

The Galaxy face the Wizards Saturday in Kansas City and striker Kei Kamara of Lawndale. In this YouTube video interview, Kamara explains why he chose to sign a new contract with the club:

In other news:

*As expected, the U.S. will hold its pre-World Cup camp on the East Coast. The eight-day camp begins May 15 at Coach Bob Bradley’s alma mater, Princeton University. The U.S. meets the Czech Republic May 25 in East Hartford, Conn., and Turkey May 29 in Philadelphia.

*The Los Angeles Unified School District, Chivas USA, the LA84 Foundation and the Los Angeles Dodgers will announce today a major fund-raising effort for competitive athletic activities in the district. The goal is to off-set the 25 percent budget cut the budget-strapped district was recently forced to announce by raising $1.3 million to support the more than 35,000 student athletes in 72 schools across the city.

*The second largest beach soccer event in the world returns to Oceanside May 15-16. More than 20,000 people will hit the beach at Oceanside Harbor for the Beach Soccer Championships. Register/more info here.

*Also next month, the fourth annual Croatian Small Goals tournament is back May 20 as the Croatian Hall of San Pedro hosts its 20th annual Independence Day Street Party.

The registration fee is $300 for six-sided teams in two divisions, competitive and recreational.

Games will consist of 5 field players and one goalie per team. More information at 310-548-1446 Ext: 107.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Studs Up

    There is a lot of upside to Michael’s game. He’s calm and composed on the ball in contrast to the helter-skelter play of BJ. He’s been given a great opportunity to play a lot of minutes which will serve the team well down the line. He sounds confident which is a good thing but he’ll have to learn from his mistakes. His bad clearance led to the RSL tying goal and changed the momentum of the game at the time. But the win should ease his pain.

  • Benny Dargle

    I’m still trying to figure out whether Stephens is another Ely Allen or whether he is a potential replacement for our aging midfielders. He definitely is calm on the ball and seems to make good decisions, but I’m not sure of his upside yet.

  • Studs Up

    Not much to compare with poor (skills) Eli. Just his vision alone afforded to him by his clean technique leading to his calmness on the ball, sets him miles apart. If there is a recipe for success it’s his being on this team at this time with a vastly improved midfield play and a well organized defense. He seems like a good striker of the ball as well.